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Craftsman kits: Classic Miniatures

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Craftsman kits: Classic Miniatures
Posted by tstage on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 9:29 PM

I've assembled a few craftsman kits over the years (two Alexander Scale Models and a Suncoast Models) but haven't done one in about 10 years.  I was curious if anyone here had put together a Classic Miniatures kit and how they were on detail?

It seems every time I do a craftsman kit I spend ~100 hrs or so on it when it's all said and done because I add extra detailing - e.g. interior molding, flooring, walls, lighting, removable roof, etc.  I found a Queen Anne cottage that looks intriguing and I think I'm up for another challenge.  I was just wondering if it's worth the time and outlay of cash.

Thanks,

Tom

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Posted by RR_Mel on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 10:17 PM

Tom
 
I built the Queen Esther house about 10 years ago and it is a great kit.  I built is as kitbashed diner and that turned out very good.

 
My layout has structures for each members of our family, we raised 7 of our own and our youngest daughter’s son.  Each one has a home from the 50s era as well as a business plus other goodies.

The Diner is Doug’s Diner, it turned out very good.  Doug’s house is behind his Diner above and behind his Diner, Dougs house is the Classic Miniatures Leadville House or what we call the Psycho House.

 
 
 
Both kits were a great build!
 
Early on I went with plastic kits but they just didn’t cut the mustard.  I replaced all of the plastic structures with craftsman kits then when I found out I could scratch build that became my thing.
 
Mel
 
 
 
 
My Model Railroad
 
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
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Posted by tstage on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 11:29 PM

Hey Mel,

Thanks for the reply and the links to your blog!  Yea, those look like fun kits.

I see it uses paper templates.  I presume you cut the template, lay & glue it over the clapboard, then trim the clapboard to match the template?  Or, are the clapboad pieces precut?  If not, was it difficult to cut like-pieces exactly the same so that they fit?  Or, did you have to cut, trim, and match pieces the best you could?

Since we're sharing "projects", below is the ASM Freight house, PRR Flag stop, and Suncoast Models FM Coaling tower I put together 10+ years ago:

The freight house was outfitted with working sliding doors front & back and hand-laid wood flooring and trim.  The coaling FM coaling tower didn't come with working lights but I added them, as seen in the prototype:

I used 12v -1.2mm incandescents but I operate them at 8 - 9V to give it a warmer look and extend the life of the bulb.  The camera adjusted for lighting so it looks brigher than it actually is.

While I enjoy assemblying the craftsman kits, it's the extra detailing (like the interior to your diner) that I really enjoy, as it enhances the realism of the scene and allows me to put my own personality into the model.

Tom

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, August 15, 2019 1:08 AM

tstage
...I was just wondering if it's worth the time and outlay of cash.

If you enjoy doing that type of work, then in my estimation it's worth every minute, and every penny, too.

Personally, I haven't built a wood kit, although I did scratchbuild several wooden structures, and some rolling stock, too. 
However, once I discovered scratchbuilding with styrene, modelling with wood no longer held any appeal.

I've also built lots of full-size stuff using wood...a garage, a house, some furniture, and a couple of train layouts, but no more wooden models for me, thank you.

Wayne

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, August 15, 2019 1:14 AM

Mel,

As I was reading through your wonderful threads about constructing the cafe, I came across two facts that broke my heart.

You have lost both a daughter and a son at young ages. My heart goes out to you. We lost our first son at the age of 18 in a car accident. That was in 2005. Losing a child is not an experience that anyone should have to go through. I can't imagine doing it twice.

I hope I haven't upset you by bringing back their memories. I think of my son often, and it always hurts.

Take care,

Dave

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Posted by RR_Mel on Thursday, August 15, 2019 8:13 AM

Thanks guys!!
 
Tom, at 82 memories are getting kinda fuzzy in some areas.  I don’t remember having any problems cutting up the basswood sheets that came in the kits.  Every craftsman kit I assembled went together perfect with the exception of the dormer roofs in the Leadville House kit.  The fix was simple but for some reason I was quite annoyed with the error.
 
I also use 12 volt incandescent lighting at reduced voltage (8½ VDC) for the same reason you do.  A little over two years ago when I came up with the Arduino UNO Random Lighting Controller I opened up every one of my kids houses and built interior walls from chipboard.
 
 
I rewired every home with individual rooms using a single 4mm GOW for each room and porch lights using 2mm GOWs.  We raised 8 children, three from my first marriage, three from my lovely wife’s first marriage, one of our own and her 5 year old after she was killed.  Each one of our offspring have a home on my layout as well as a house for Mom and Dad in retirement, all 9 homes have individual random lighting controllers giving my layout a realistic lived in look.  To me and my wife the 180 bulbs randomly going on and off give my (Our) layout great life like realism.
 
This is Susie’s house, Classic Miniatures Winters’ Mansion.
 
 
Susie’s house is on the right and John’s home is on the left (scratch built).
 
 
She died two months before her 21st birthday, she was going to be an attorney and support us in our Golden Years.
 
 
Thanks Dave,
 
Kids are suppose to bury Mom and Dad not Mom and Dad bury their kids.  It’s tough but having them around in miniature helps a lot!
 
 
 
Susie is in the Caddie following her brother.
   
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by tstage on Thursday, August 15, 2019 5:05 PM

Mel & Dave,

My heart is heavy for the losses you've experienced in both of your families.

My wife and I were never blessed with any children and there's a different type of "loss" that goes with that.  While I would never envy the loss of a child for anyone, I do envy that you had the opportunity to enjoy your sons & daughters for the time that you had them and I'm sure you do not regret that - even with the loss.

And, Mel, I really like your idea of using portions of your layout to remember ALL of your family.  That makes it even more extra special...

Tom

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Posted by RR_Mel on Thursday, August 15, 2019 5:39 PM

Thanks Tom
 
It really helps me, it kinda reminds me of our good times before they left us.  I’m constantly coming up with something new to add, Susie would have liked this or Doug would do it this way.
 
I think it helps others in our family too.  Susie’s grand children always ask about her when they are running a train because of her house and café, I named the town and passenger station after her, Susanville.
 
I have a Korber water tank on a hill that I’m going to decal it with “Susanville”.
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by York1 on Thursday, August 15, 2019 5:48 PM

tstage
Mel & Dave, My heart is heavy for the losses you've experienced in both of your families.

 

Ditto for me.  I have three daughters, and I can't imagine going through the pain you both have experienced.

 

Even with that, Mel, I am amazed at your skill in building miniature buildings.

Saints Fan John

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Posted by RR_Mel on Thursday, August 15, 2019 6:20 PM

I guess it comes with experience, I’ve been working in miniature since I was able to walk.  My mother liked working with Plaster of Paris and when I was able to help her she got me involved, must have been about 1940. 
 
My first on my own thing started as a teenager with switching from Lionel three rail to HO in 1951.  It was an uphill battle for many years but when I retired in 2007 that became my real thing.  It’s been a down hill glide from then, each one is easier and looks better too.
 
Making 1:87 scale figures aint as easy as the Plaster of Paris figures my mother made back in the early 1940s.
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by tstage on Saturday, August 17, 2019 8:44 PM

Well, I won the bidding on eBay for the CM Queen Anne's Cottage craftsman kit ($27.51).  It will most likely become a project for the colder months.  Thanks everyone for your input on this thread.

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, August 17, 2019 9:00 PM

Tom
 
Don’t forget to take pictures.  My norm is I get excited when I open a new kit and when I think about pictures it far too late.  Don’t forget to post them on WPF.
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
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I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, August 17, 2019 9:25 PM

Hi Mel,

Your detailed documentation of your projects is great! So are your modelling skills.

Thanks,

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, August 17, 2019 9:40 PM

tstage
My heart is heavy for the losses you've experienced in both of your families.

Thanks for your thoughts Tom. In some ways I think that losing a child and not having children are very similar. I always find myself asking who Glenn would have married, and how many grandchildren would I have had by now?

I am blessed to have a second son who is doing amazingly well. He is 29, has a great (and well paid) job, has owned his own house for two years, is married to a wonderful and talented woman, and perhaps best of all, they are seriously starting to talk about child rearing. Kaitlin plans on finishing her accountancy qualifications before kids. She is less than a year from graduating, and she wants to work for a year or maybe two before having kids, but grandchildren are certainly in our future. In the mean time, we have to make due with dog sitting the "grand dog" Murphy, a Boston Terrier. He is a great dog. I hope we do so well with the grand kids!Smile, Wink & GrinLaugh

Cheers everybody! Thanks for letting me brag a bit.

Sorry to the OP if I have stolen the thread a bit. I seem to have done that a couple of times recently.Embarrassed

Dave

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Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, August 17, 2019 9:49 PM

Thanks Dave
 
I went for years building Craftsman Kits not even thinking about scratch building.  I bought one of the newer laser cut kits and I figured I could do that.  I did some scaled drawing on my CAD and used the printouts for templates.  The kit was a Laser-Art kit and my scratch build came out as nice as the kit and a whole new world opened up for me.
 
Had I not gone with that laser kit I would still be building Craftsman kits.
 
I did learn gobs from building the various Craftsman kits over the years and learned to make my own scale lumber using my Dremel Router.
 
I would like to have the ability to make my structures look as nice as Peter HO-Velo.
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by tstage on Saturday, August 17, 2019 10:16 PM

RR_Mel

Tom
 
Don’t forget to take pictures.  My norm is I get excited when I open a new kit and when I think about pictures it far too late.  Don’t forget to post them on WPF.
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.

I hear what you're saying, Mel.  I've done a few step-by-step "how-to" tutorials for my website and there's a lot of planning and forethought when it comes to taking progress photos of the project.  And photos slow your progress.

I will do my best to try take photos when I start assemblying, painting, and detailing the Queen Anne's Cottage kit.  And I'm sure I'll go back and review your links as references.

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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